Proverbs 3:9 Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
A habit is a tendency or practice. Many of us have habits that we have developed over the years. Some habits are extremely beneficial, while others could be imposing, frowned upon, or even damaging to a person. The “experts” say that the average person takes approximately 21 days to create a habit and anywhere from 18 to 245 days to break a habit.
What does this information tell us? It tells us that creating good habits is important and that if we develop bad habits, they will be hard to break. The wise thing to do is to create good habits in your finances that will help you become a good steward of what God has entrusted to us. I believe these principles will help you develop good financial habits that will benefit you now and in the future.
If you spend more than what you make, you are on the road to financial ruin. Simply put, you cannot spend more than you make! Americans are in a slew of financial trouble. The USA Today states that the average debt of an American household is over $6,200.00. Other stats say that it’s upwards of almost $9,000.00 per household. This is just credit card debt!
Whatever amount of money you earn each month has to be accounted for. If you make $2,000 a month, you must make sure that only $2,000 or less can be spent. If you spend more, you are spending money that you don’t have. This is where the downward spiral of debt will occur. God has promised to take care of you, but if you are not wise with your money, you cannot expect God to bail you out.
Being thrifty is a character quality that is missing in Christians today. We often want the best, the fastest, the brightest, and the newest thing on the market. Not only do we want the best, but we want it NOW! There is nothing wrong with getting the best things, but make sure they are not due to impulse or covetousness.
If you want to live with the character quality of thriftiness, you ought to have the attitude of, “Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without.” Here are a couple of tips on how to be thrifty concerning money:
A. Don’t always buy new.
Now, I am not advocating to buy “junk.” I believe if you buy “junk” you are wasting God’s money. What I am saying is that you can get the same quality if you just simply shop around. Here are some of my practices before I buy something:
a. Buy it secondhand.
b. Shop around and get prices from at least three to four vendors.
c. Use websites such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or the Recycler.
d. Search for digital or physical coupon codes that can be applied to the purchase.
e. Ask a business to match or beat an online or in store competitor.
B. Find ways that you can cut back.
Take some time to look at where your money is spent each month. You will be surprised to see that you can cut back on some unnecessary things. Here are some ways that you can cut back:
1) Turn off lights when you are not in the room.
2) Consolidate your driving. Plan in advance so you save fuel.
3) Skip a couple of meals that you would spend on eating out.
4) Relocate to lower rent or refinance to a lower rate on your mortgage.
5) Bring your own lunch to work instead of buying it.
6) Brew your own coffee.
There are certain things in life that if we truly love them, there will be a counterbalance of hate for what opposes them.
If God gave us the opportunity to have WHATEVER we wanted, what would it be?